I still remember the first London Marathon. At least, I remember the fuss around it – I don’t remember much about the actual race, I just remember getting up early to watch it on TV when I was about 8 years old, living in Wimbledon. Can’t remember what I thought at the time, probably was thinking of running it one day.
Still haven’t ever run it. Since that day, I’ve kind of lost interest in it. Each year, I listen to a bit of the radio broadcast in the car on the way to church, but ’til yesterday had never been to see any of it.
So when after church yesterday morning, a few people were heading down to cheer on Natasha who was running, it seemed like a fun thing to do.
The atmosphere was amazing – we were watching (we being me and Lizzie) from by Embankment tube, so the runners had already done twenty-odd miles by then and were in varying degrees of a state of total disarray. By this point, I’m sure the people who were running in costume were planning to kill whoever the bastard was who suggested dressing as Hong Kong Phoey, or a pirate, or a rhino, or a caveman, or a pasty or whatever other weirdness people were dressed as. some of the runners were in some quite major discomfort.. well, discomfort that appeared to have crossed into the ‘excruciating pain’ category. But most were soldiering on determinedly, walking a bit, running when they got a cheer or saw their mates.
We almost missed Natasha coming by, due to a guy a few runners in front of her having the worst case of joggers nipple we’d ever seen – two large blood-stains on the front of his shirt… makes me wince just thinking of it. Lizzie’s bit of conversation there went something like ‘look at that bloke’s nipples! (half second pause) Natasha!! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!’ ETC. much whooping and cheering ensued, from us and from harry, karen and juliet who were on the other side of the road.
The end of the race for Natasha was fab – lots of friends there congratulating her, a picnic in St James’ park, and a medal that none of the rest of us had. Makes it all worth while. And she raised a lot of money for MIND.
It definitely made me think about possibly doing it next year. I would have to start trying to get in some sort of shape now, given that I’m a bit of a sedentary slob most of the time (hey, I don’t even stand up for gigs!)
So I’ll give it some thought, and try not to think about Paula Radcliffe’s ‘unplanned pit-stop’. That’s dedication to your sport!
Soundtrack – Scottish Guitar Quartet, ‘Landmarks’ (beautiful album – more about this later when I’ve heard it a few more times); Andrew Cronshaw, ‘Ochre’ (my most listened to album of the last few weeks – full review on the way)by